Why Body-Shamers can kiss my (squidgy) butt!

This is not the post I intended to write this morning.In fact this is not even something I feel very comfortable discussing at all (now I am no longer a secret blogger!). As far as subject matters go, you could say it’s a bit close to home.

This morning I read an article by Elizabeth Aram: “Body Shaming – Why is this a thing?” with mixed emotions. The author confidently challenges the social standards of beauty while admitting to feeling the pressure to strive for physical ‘perfection’, (despite being a standard UK Size 10 /US Size 6). Her body is, as she describes it “socially acceptable,  but not ideal”.

Socially acceptable, but not ideal. These five words sum up how I’ve perceived my body for as long as I can remember. These days I’m size 10ish (8 on a good week, if I’ve dropped a few pounds to squeeze into something fancy).  I’m not going to bore you with my long list of body hang-ups but needless to say, at 5’3″ I will never achieve anything remotely resembling the long (thigh gap)-legged, big boobied idea of perfection however hard I try. Nevertheless, I continue to make those comparisons EVERY SINGLE DAY in my head. Reinforcing the ‘not good enough’ mentality that so many women* felt when they looked in the mirror this morning. While social media has been buzzing with excitement at the warm weather we’ve been experiencing this week ,I’ve been filled with dread at the prospect of my nemesis, The Summer Wardrobe, making a very unwelcome return.

So while I waste yet another day obsessing about how many calories are in half a tub of cottage cheese (or, ahem, a whole packet of coconut macaroons…) I wonder if anyone on the school run noticed that my jeans were a bit ‘skinnier’ than usual this morning ? Or knew that I had to pinch the button a bit tighter to do it up? No, of course they bloody didn’t because they’re all too busy checking that the kids have their factor 50 on and scribbling  initials on the inside of sun hats! So why does it matter so much to me? Why do so many otherwise reasonable, intelligent women have such a downer on themselves over something which, in the grand scheme of things, really isn’t that big a deal.

It’s easy to point the finger at the diet or fitness industries, who of course reinforce then prey on our insecurities in order to succeed, or the body shaming magazine articles berating celebrities for daring to ‘pile on the pounds’ but actually I think we need to bear some responsibility ourselves. Who could do with an inspirational quote right now ?

 

I know it’s not easy to be thick skinned in a world where we are all judged on our appearance, but if we can somehow instill the right mindset of confidence and self worth from a young age then imagine how different things could be? I have a 1957 copy of Vogue magazine and flicking through it these ads show how little things have changed in the last 50 years, how sad that in 2016 women are still bombarded with the same message, ‘You are not good enough’.

In all honesty I AM my own worst critic, I doubt there is anything anyone could say to me about my appearance that I haven’t already told myself many times over. This is MY problem, no one else’s, but to use a well known phrase: ‘What others think of you is none of your business’. It is up to us to decide that we won’t be made to feel inferior any more. Not by the dieting industry, or the fitness industry (Are YOU beach body ready??) or the media. I desperately want to prepare my 5 year old daughter for the pressure she is almost certain to experience in the coming years but I feel like whatever I do it won’t be nearly enough. She loves her food and although she’s usually satisfied with a handful of carrot sticks, there is a point where I just have to say “No more food!” Obviously I think she is beautiful and perfect but I also know that in the real world she will eventually be subjected to comments about her weight which will result in her confidence being knocked, cue a lifetime of food/body issues.

Although there are a handful of body positive role models for girls in public eye today (Adele, Lena Dunham, Meghan Trainor) they are the exception and we are still a long way from acceptance of women regardless of their size and shape. Unfortunately it will always mainly be women from the entertainment industry considered worthy to grace the magazine covers and so it will always be these images that girls are presented with rather than the athletes, engineers, entrepreneurs, or explorers (or presidents?!) . It made a refreshing change to see the below article on the cover of the paper today The ‘perfect body is a lie’. In it Lindy West tells how, as a ‘big’ girl,  believing in the perfect body affected her terribly growing up until she eventually realised that the perfect body is a lie. Which makes perfect sense, I mean when you think about it logically, who gets to decide???IMG_4243

For my daughter’s sake I would love to see this issue receive a lot more attention in the media, from the government and in the classroom. Surely body confidence and appreciation from a young age would have a huge positive impact on other areas of children’s lives giving them a healthy, informed view and allowing them to realise that ‘body-shaming’ is bulls**t. Unfortunately I have never managed this confidence for myself but now as a mother I feel it’s my job to be a real-life (not so glamorous) role model. To try to focus on nurturing a healthy attitude to our bodies, whatever size or shape and appreciate just how amazing they are.

I am under no illusion that this is going to be easy, especially as my daughter gets older, but I am learning and I am determined. For her sake I will do what I can to prepare her for the big, bad body-shamers. The below plaque hangs in my cloakroom, as a little reminder, some days I have a harder time than others actually believing it – it’s work in progress.

(If you have already experienced any body image issues with your child (young or old) I would be really interested to hear your views or advice on how you are dealing with it.)

x

You are Perfect Just as You are Plaque*I am aware that increasing numbers of men are being affected by body confidence issues today, however this is a personal blog post based on my own experience on the subject.

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111 Comments

  1. I love Lindy West and I read that article (along with another one today, about periods). I think I’m going to get her new book, as they are extracts from it. It’s so difficult, as like you I am opposed to the whole concept of body-shaming or seeing one body as better than another, but I still compare myself and scrutinise my own body!

  2. I think Mother could relate to this. She started obsessing about losing weight for her bikini and we’re not going on for hols for ages yet. I know that Mother wants to give me self-esteem and show that our aesthetics are only part of our make-up but I think it’s a challenge in this day and age. #bigpinklink

  3. I loved this post. I have ranged from size 14 to size 22 at different points in my life. I am currently a size 16-18. I have a gastric band, I have an overwhelming compulsion to stuff my face at some point every day. I have hated my body for my entire life. i really worry that my daughter will end up going down the same road. I dont really know how to ensure she doesnt (although obviously have started with a healthy diet, but not sure how to combat all the psychological stuff). This was a great post. Thank you for writing it. xxx #bigpinklink

    1. Hi Helen, thanks for commenting so honestly I’m glad you liked the post. It is so frustrating to think about the time and energy wasted beating ourselves up over the years. It’s only now that I am responsible for my children that I am being forced to change my attitude for their sake! I never want my daughter to hate her gorgeous little body as a result of external pressure, the best I have come up with is working on self worth as a whole in the hope that this will lead to a stronger, healthier mindset to process all the body image issues logically if/when they arise. X

  4. Whilst I don’t really let other people’s opinions bother me, I am incredibly ashamed of how I look but then I’m lazy so I don’t take accountability for it. I say lazy in the sense that I should go to the gym or swim more, I try and do my 10k steps a day which is pretty easy with a 1 hour there and back school run twice a day, but I eat so much food! Like massive portions at meal times. I don’t tend to snack but I hate that feeling when you know you need to eat less of being hungry all the time. That’s my struggle. But on the other hand I want to lose weight because I don’t want my daughter to be ashamed of me because I’m fat. She’s already made a few points about it, not the shame but just that I’m not “straight up and down”…:/ #twinklytuesday

    1. Oh it’s just so crap how much energy we waste beating ourselves up about it. My sweet tooth is my downfall- so obviously I’m like the Sugar Police with my kids!! I think my they are are genuinely fascinated by bodies in general at the moment so I try to go with the ‘ isn’t it brilliant how we’re all different’ angle for now! Thank you for reading and for your comment on such a personal issue x

  5. I really do struggle with this. I have lived with anorexia my whole adult life and it is only in the last few years that I have been able to gain weight and, although I don’t want to say beat it, perhaps just live with it? I’m bigger than I have ever been (and still only a size 8!) and I do struggle with that sometimes, but I also know that my body is healthier and I eat anything and everything, and enjoy my food too! I’ve faced body shaming on a regular basis for being too thin and people don’t realise just how much impact those comments can have on a person. Really great post. #TwinklyTuesday

    1. Really good to hear you have learned to manage your eating habits and are enjoying a healthier lifestyle, I can’t imagine what it must be like to have to deal with that. It’s funny, I almost feel like if I ever do mention that I’ve gained (or would like to lose) a few lbs, people tend to ‘poo, poo’ my comments, I know they are trying to be nice and may think I look fine but as you know a lot of the time self confidence is not always dictated by the number on the scales. Thank you so much for reading and commenting so openly on a personal matter.

  6. I think it’s so important to set a good example to our kids. No its not ok to be obese and eat processor crap but nor is it good to obsess over calories and be insecure about body image as this is something our kids will pick up on. Whether you’re a size 6 or 16 it’d how YOU feel in your own skin. I’m a gymoholic but that’s my choosing and it’s not for everyone…and I still like coconut macaroons too! #twinklytuesday

    1. I know, soooo hard to get the balance right – I can barely manage it myself and now I’m responsible for setting an example to two little people! Ooh yes, you gotta live and have a coconut macaroon (or two!) every now and then 😉Thank you for reading x

  7. I know EXACTLY how you feel…
    I’m 5ft (on a good day) and I was always slim and danced every day so was pretty confident in my physique before kids. Now, 3 kids later, not a sodding chance! I wobble everywhere, I have rolls where I never knew I could have rolls and I don’t like me at the moment. I have 3 boys but my eldest is 8 and is noticing he is chubbier than his friends and is being bullied because of it. He’s not fat at all, he’s just chubby and quite stocky, and it makes me very sad that he’s worrying about this already.
    I make sure he doesn’t know about my personal body hang ups and often tell him he’s perfect as he is. He exercises and eats well, he’s got nothing To worry about. Super post.xxx
    #passthesauce

    1. Oh no I’m sorry to hear your son is being bullied because of his size. It really makes me sad to think of kids worrying about their weight, even more so when he is actually just built that way. Like you say the main thing is he’s healthy- plus he has a good Mummy to build up his self esteem! Thanks for reading my post and commenting x

  8. It sounds like we’re about the same size, and I’ve had the same kind of feelings about my body. It almost got worse after I recently lost weight, because I’m so terrified about putting it back on once I go back to work after mat leave – as though anyone would care if I was 15lbs heavier! I’d hate for my daughter to judge herself based on the numbers on a scale, so I know I need to stop doing it myself. #passthesauce

    1. Yes, I know what you mean, even when I have managed to lose that last half a stone it’s usually as a result of a completely dull and unsustainable diet so I feel anxious about putting it back on!! Ridiculous isn’t it?!

    2. Yep,I’m the same- it’s crazy, even when I get to a weight I’m happy with I’m worrying about gaining again – grrrrrrr it’s just exhausing! Thanks for reading and commenting x

  9. What a well written and honest post. As someone who has done Slimming World on and off for the past five years or so, apart from when I was pregnant and the 6 months after it, I am never happy with my weight. Currently a 14, Sometimes 16, I was a 12-14 this time last year and I’m striving to get back to that if not a little further before we go on holiday at the end of July. I know I won’t be fully happy if I go and I’ve not lost weight because I’m not happy now. It’s nothing to do with anyone else, it’s me and how I feel. Unfortunately I only have to look at apiece of chocolate and I put in about half a stone! #BloggerClubUK

    1. Thank you, yes I know what you mean, although I find I am more determined if I have an incentive to work towards like a holiday or event (the fear!) and it’s always worth it if you feel a bit better about yourself but God is it duuuuuuuul. I have such a sweet tooth my cravings go into overdrive if I try to cut sugar out so I usually just try to go for longer walks rather than get into the diet mentality. Thanks for commenting, I appreciate you sharing your thoughts on this. x

  10. ooh this is a big subject! I have two girls and a boy and both my girls are body shaped obsessed – it doesn’t matter what I say to them they are not happy. They spend far too long being inspired by various beautiful instagram accounts of perfectly bronzed long limbed beauties lying on an exotic beach somewhere and that is the only way my girls want to look. I dot think it matters how many times I try to talk about accepting their body and loving themselves – they want to have been born to swedish parents! Great article though (oh and I have all the same hang ups to – been plucking the courage to get on the scales since January and it’s now May!) #passthesauce

    1. SUCH a tricky subject. I am dreading the whole teenage, Insta-inspo thing coming, it must be infuriating. Of course I remember my Mother telling me I was beautiful whenever got down about my weight but what teenager ever listens to their Mother right??

    1. Yes I can imagine, I think boys these days are under waaaaaay more pressure than ever before to look a certain way. My son is 7, skin and bones and thinks he is God’s gift – long may it continue!! (The confidence, not the skinny ribs!)

  11. Fabulous post. I’ve been all over the place with my body image, and with my weight too, and it’s strange that the times when I’ve been looking ‘my best’ (in terms of the media ideal anyway), are not the times when I’ve felt most comfortable. For me, my natural size is bigger, and that’s ok. I do think pregnancy and birth have changed my attitude to my body and made it easier to be comfortable with it – I’m finally able to look at it as a functional thing, and a pretty miraculous one at that, rather than just an aesthetic thing. That’s not to say that I still wouldn’t like to lose a few pounds right now, but I’m not overly concerned about it! #bloggerclubuk

    1. Oh thank you! I definitely get that too – I feel better about myself when I lose weight, but I also know it’s not my natural weight and therefore not maintainable long term (huff). Plus I’m usually hangry 🙂
      I’m not sure why but I also feel slightly more confident than I did pre-kids. I think that’s more as a result of realising there are more important things (keeping humans alive) and as a result just caring a bit less what people think. Plus not having the luxury of only having to think about myself all day!
      Glad to hear you have such a sensible attitude to the whole issue these days. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment x

  12. This is a subject that is really close to my heart. And I echo a lot of what you have said. My daughters are 13 and 9 and are chalk and cheese. For one of them, food is fuel, end of story. For the other, she is never full and left to her own devices would overeat.

    However, having suffered from an eating disorder in the past, I did not want her to have issues so it was a real challenge for me to try and guide her without making a big deal out of it. That its about balance and not ‘good and bad’ food. Then she started at a swimming club and exercises loads and I feel that this has helped in her case and has meant I haven’t had to have lots of ‘food discussions.’ I would hate for her to go through what I went through. I want her to be happy and she knows we love her and she is beautiful outside and in. As you say, there are so many messages in society that try and counter that.

    Another thing that has been helpful to us are all of the positive messages that come from us being Christians. As well as knowing we love them and friends love them, our kids know that they are loved and created by God. They have been ‘fearfully and wonderfully’ made and she is unique and special. They are loved unconditionally.

    I think that in my struggles over the years I keep going back to Psalm 139 (which even if you don’t have a faith is such a beautiful poem about being loved and being wonderfully made) and reminding myself of the truths in it. We are loved unconditionally. ‘We are wonderfully made.’

    1. Hi Jane, yes my 7yr old is bones and burns of a lot of energy bouncing around like Zebedee but to be fair he just has a very different build to Flump. I agree it’s so hard trying to find a way to highlight the importance of a healthy lifestyle without making a ‘thing’ of it and causing even more issues later down the line, almost impossible when you have a child that is constantly asking for food!
      She isn’t interested in anything sporty but enjoys the trampoline (and recently, hula hooping – funny kid!) so I try to encourage that as much as possible. She will be starting swimming lessons (against her will!) soon so that will incorporate a bit more movement I suppose! It’s great that your daughter enjoys exercising and that your Faith has given her a sense of appreciation that she is awesome and security in being loved unconditionally. Thank you for taking the time to respond on a subject that is such tricky territory, I appreciate every comment. x

      1. You are welcome. Seems like we have a lot in common! In fact,your daughter looks like mine at that age! I am really enjoying dipping into your blog – great writing!

  13. Brilliant, brilliant post!! And how have I never realised before that yes, who does bloody decide what the perfect body is??!! I’m sure that so many women will relate to this-I see it’s already getting quite a response!! I love Lena Dunham, and her obvious confidence and I don’t give a crap attitude in Girls, is just inspiring-she is my newest idol!! As a child, I spent a lot of time at dance school-more time than in actual school. The head teacher there was an old school ballerina, with outdated values. She openly shamed us for putting on weight, showed us pictures of the skinny bodies we should be aspiring to, and walked around with a cane, prodding our ‘fat bits.’ By the time I was at secondary school, I was skipping breakfast, chucking my lunch straight in the bin, and telling my mum Id eaten dinner at the dance school canteen. I was constantly cold, felt ill, couldn’t concentrate, was weak, yet revered by my dance school peers for this behaviour. Since I’ve had children, I’ve been diagnosed with insulin resistance, and hormonal imbalances, causing me to gain about 4 stone. I’ve tried desperately to lose it, and I mean desperately, but I’ve been told it will be extremely hard, possibly not possible… I actually hate how I look every single day. The last time I stomped into the Drs demanding he try something else, he patted my arm and said I needed to start working towards acceptance. So here I am, saying that body image shouldn’t matter, and how it’s such an important message, but I have absolutely no idea how to begin accepting this… Hopefully starting this message at a young age will help today’s children avoid these terrible feelings!!
    #bigpinklink

    1. Thank you – Lena rocks!! Yes I have had such an amazing response to this, readers have commented so openly about such a personal subject. Wow that teacher has a lot to answer for, absolutely shocking behaviour and how awful to treat young girls that way. I wonder if she ever knew the damage she was causing years down the line? I assume there is still quite a lot of that in the dance industry, actually you reminded me of a friend who once told me when she was at ballet school they had to wear a ribbon around their waist so they knew if it was getting too tight??! Awful. I’m sorry to hear about how your illness/weight gain has caused you to feel down, I know what you mean about not knowing how to approach ‘acceptance’, I regularly remind myself how lucky I am to have a healthy, loving family, a home etc etc and much as I really do appreciate that these are the things that REALLY matter, it doesn’t make me feel much better on an ‘off day’. It just seems so unnatural to actually say ‘Yep, this is me, if you don’t like it that’s your problem’! I might write that on a post-it and stick it on my mirror!! Imagine how liberating that would feel?
      Thank you so much for reading and sharing your feelings on this, I really appreciate it x

  14. Such a wonderfully honest and thought-provoking post. I find it so sad that as women we are constantly bombarded with images of the “ideal” body and that body-shaming is still so prevalent in our culture, despite positive role models such as Adele. Trying to reduce obesity is a good thing but striving to be a stick when it’s not something that is a natural body shape for you isn’t. Definitely agree that being comfortable in their own skin is an important message to pass on to our daughters. These days I’m pretty comfortable with what I see in the mirror – I might not meet the media ideal but to be honest, I no longer have any desire to. My husband and children love me as I am and that’s good enough for me. Love that quote from Eleanor Roosevelt – it’s one of my favourites – and the sign hanging in your cloakroom is a good reminder that you are perfect as you are. Thanks for linking up to #FamilyFun

    1. Thank you Louise, like I said I didn’t intend to really write that post but somehow it just came out! You’ve definately got the right attitude about being comfortable with yourself, your family love you how you are so what else matters right? It’s such a brilliant quote isn’t it? 🙂 Thanks for hosting xx

  15. Oh my yes! LOVE this post. You’re right it is totally our own fault for allowing the media/other people to tell us what looks good. I’m coming to realise that I don’t need to be a size 10 to be me, I’m me regardless, and if I weigh a little more then there’s just more of me to love… right?
    Okay so that’s not really how I feel, I hate being heavy (13st!!) and am trying to change it. BUT I do think that as long as I feel happy with myself then that’s okay. If I’m happy at 12st 7lbs then I’ll stop losing weight.
    As for experience with body issues, I’m beginning to wonder about my son. BP is 11 years old and is currently trying to not eat. He comes home from school and at dinner time he won’t eat much at all. He’s even tried to throw food away before I see it. I’ve spoken to him about it and he says it’s nothing but I’m keeping a close eye on him anyway. The thought of him having anorexia terrifies me.Yes, it can happen to boys too.
    Thanks for sharing this brilliant post. xxx
    #FamilyFun

  16. Man this is a tough one as there is a whole bajillion dollar industry feeding off people’s insecurities but I think if we, as parents, can help inspire out children to love their bodies whatever shape or size then we are at least setting them off in the right direction. Great post lovely and thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub! xx

    1. Yup – it feels like we’re fighting a losing battle but I suppose we can only do our best to bring the kids up with enough confidence (and sense) to give them the right attitude to the craziness. Thanks for hosting x

  17. Such a thought provoking post. I look at my own Mum and much as she is wonderful, I think that she has spent most of her adult life on a diet of some kind. To me she is just fab as she is, but she is clearly not happy with her shape and after a certain number of years on the planet” could maybe do to accept that this is just “her” and she is lovely as she is. I tend to swing between a 12 and a 14 (cake dependent) and I try to be mindful. I’ll never be less than a 12 as I enjoy my food too much, and I do think that genetic build has a role to play. I really have to work to keep my own comments in check though as I don’t want my children to pick up on the whole “mummy is on a diet” thing. I’d prefer them to learn to make good food choices but ideally for their health and nutritional reasons rather than because of how it will make them look and be judged by others. I appreciate that this is a little naive and idealistic to say when they are only 3 and 1, but wish me luck! Great post!
    #coolmumclub xx

    1. Aww your lovely Mummy – I fully intend to spend my golden years eating what the hell I like!! 🙂 I think accepting you will never be a certain way is really hard for most people though isn’t it? I definitely struggle with that. Yes it does get harder as they get a bit older and I spend a lot of time talking about how it’s important to be ‘healthy’ rather than slim and how everyone is different but brilliant. Funny how we do these things for our children but not for ourselves! Thanks for reading and commenting on this, x

  18. I wish I had a magic answer to this issue. I wish I didn’t have days when I wasted too much time choosing an outfit or worrying about the feel of my trousers pressing into my stomach… But I do… There needs to be a huge shift in thinking towards health instead of perfection. TY for linking up such a fantatsic, thought provoking post to #FamilyFun 🎉

  19. Like you I am a size 8-10 and only 5″2! I don’t like being short, but I’m fairly Ok with my body image, sure I’d love bigger boobs and a flat tummy again but overall I am ok.
    My kids are quite short too, and my middle daughter once got told by her friends that she is fat! I was so angy, she was 7, and she said “it’s ok mummy I am fat!”
    She really is not at all – she took it in her stride, but it upset me. She is a bit stockier built than some girls but she should not have been called fat by her friends. Sarah #FabFridayPost

    1. Ah yes bigger boobs and a flat tummy for me too please! Oh no, I hate hearing kids saying things like that about each other, I’m glad she has the sense to take it in her stride, you’re obviously doing a good job! My daughter has a stockier build too and an appetite to match:) 100% scrumptious to me though! Thanks for stopping by x

  20. I am 5’2 and a size 14 at the minute, so I am much bigger than I should be. I put on four stone during pregnancy and just cannot shift it, and I have neither the money nor the time to stick to a diet. I don’t eat badly but I am rather partial to cake.
    I have always been ‘bigger’ though. Even as a size 10, I was always a ‘curvy’ size 10 and actually, looking back at photos, I looked amazing. It saddens me that I thought I was fat at the time.
    I have just started weight watchers so I am hoping to lose some of my unwanted weight but I don’t want to tell anyone because I am terrified that if I fail, people will judge me.
    I am definitely my own worst enemy though, I can see cellulite on my legs, ‘mummy podge’ on my stomach and seventeen chins when I look in the mirror. My saving grace is that my husband still finds me attractive. He often tells me that I am not fat and that he loves me, so it does make me feel better. And since gaining all of this weight, my chest is much bigger!
    #picknmix

    1. I hate to think about how down I was on myself when I was younger too, ridiculous. I think slimming clubs are a great kick start to trying to be healthier, weight will come off as a result of that alone. That’s brilliant that your hubby is so fab at supporting you- good on him (wish there were more like him!). Ha ha well I wouldn’t mind the bigger boobies part myself 🙂 Best of luck with WW, you can do it!!!!

  21. Yes this is so right, it’s all about mindset. I’ve been anorexic before and I was also probably over weight as a child. Safe to say none of those were right, because it was BAD FOR MY BODY, not bad for anyone else. Who’s to say what looks good.Take for example the Renaissance period… large women were the MOST attractive and then in ancient Egypt, flat chested and no hips was considered the most beautiful. Time is a fool and if you follow the fashion of sizes, because let’s face it, size IS a fashion, you’ll always be fooled!
    The trick is to LOVE yourself, be healthy and owe it! #FabFridayPost

    1. Sorry to hear about your past experience with anorexia, it’s just so blimmin scary to see the impact this issue has on so many people. Yes, you are so right, in the words of Justin Bieber (nope, not something I ever thought I’d be typing either!) “You should go and love yourself! 🙂 Thanks for reading and commenting on this. x

  22. I love this post and this exactly sums up what I am facing at the moment. Why can’t we just accept ourselves for who we are! I am at that desirable weight when I am literally starving myself on some liquid thing and feeling miserable everyday. Now that I have a daughter, I have decided to change my lingo and my perspective on body weight. I use the word “healthy” rather than slim and it’s always about health and not how much you weigh. But I think with peer pressure, media and celebrities, it’s hard not to feel the pressure. I am my own worst enemy! Thanks for sharing with #PasstheSauce

    1. Urgh it’s just pants isn’t it? I’m so sick of it all. Ha I was just saying to someone else that I use the word ‘healthy’ a lot too rather than anything weight/diet related. It’s so hard to know how to prepare them for the pressure to come but I suppose we can just raise them to be as confident and sensible as possible so they will have a rational approach to the whole thing (wishful thinking i think unfortunately) thanks for your comments, funny old subject but people have been so brilliant with their responses. I think we could start a bloggers revolution!!

  23. Fabulous post and something that I feel very strongly about. Particularly as the mother of two girls.
    I definitely don’t think that there is a perfect body, but I have an idea of how I want my body to be. Now in my mid 40s, I’m no longer chasing the elusive size 8-10 of my twenties, but I would happily settle for an athletic size 12! For me it’s all about being healthy and moving a bit more, and if I get that size 12 ish body through that then I will be happy! These days for me it’s about my clothes fitting and not feeling too frumpy!!!

    In terms of my daughters, yes with my 11 year old there have been issues from time to time. I am constantly telling her how fab and beautiful she is. We always talk about healthy choices and try and do some exercise together (she’s a great little motivator). I gave up dieting when I was pregnant with her as I had severe morning sickness/nausea and I realised how warped my view of food had become having dieted on and off for around 15 years. Now I believe in everything in moderation and more exercise,

    I wonder if we are ever truly happy with ourselves?!

    #bigpinklink

    1. Thank you – yes it’s funny how our children sometimes force us to re-evaluate what is really important isn’t it? Your approach of everything in moderation and more exercise is just perfect, glad you’ve been able to get to this point after so many years of dieting. Thanks for reading and commenting x

  24. Such a great post and unfortunately a growing issue not only for women, but for our little girls too now. Since becoming a parent I have been so much more conscious about the words I use to describe how I feel and talk about my body, because I dont want to pass on any of my hang ups to my little one, or even make her so aware of things like this at such a young age. I hear ridiculous things, like 5 year olds talking about their bodies in a negative way and it makes me so sad. I dont want that for my daughter so will do my part to make sure that she feels as confident as she can in herself and her body, but it is a growing challenge with the onslaught of social media and the general media which sexualise or build this generic imagine of what women should look like.. Great post. Thanks for linking it up to #MarvMondays. Emily

    1. Thanks Emily, it’s amazing how many really honest responses I’ve had on this post, it’s obviously something a lot of us feel strongly about. My daughter is 5 and very aware of the concept of ‘body image’ and how people compare bodies, it feels almost impossible to avoid. Thanks for hosting and for your own comment too. x

  25. I have a little boy, but after becoming a mum I’m more aware of how I talk about myself – in general – it’s not easy, but I want him to have a healthy relationship with his own body as well as with the image of the women he might encounter in his life. Interesting read. Thank for sharing #fortheloveofblog

  26. I hugely struggle with my weight and I spend a lot of time worrying about how I look. I put makeup on to do the school run because I worry I will look awful otherwise – like anyone cares. As you say everyone else has their own worries and are not looking at me. It is so hard isn’t it? #FabFridayPost

    1. Oh I’m with you on the make-up too – I feel way too self conscious without it. It’s hard but so much of it is us making it hard! Thank you for your comment, I appreciate it x

  27. According to my doctor I should be almost 40 pds lighter than I am now. I just about laughed out loud. Unless I can go back in time to the late ’80s I’m not getting back there anytime soon! #justanotherlinky

  28. According to my doctor, I should be about 40 pds lighter than I am now. I told him that without going back in time to the late ’80s I wouldn’t be getting back to that weight anytime soon #justanotherlinky

  29. I think everyone feels bad about how they look – even supermodels! It’s an awful shame & it’d be great if we could bring it to an end. I think being a healthy weight is more important than body shape or trying to be skinny or a certain look. It’d be great if we could be content with how we look! Before I had kids I thought I had a belly! HA! When I look back now I wish I had been happy with my figure as I’d kill for it now. Thanks so much for sharing with us at #bloggerclubuk x

  30. Well said. I’m another ‘socially acceptable, but not ideal’! & definitely my own worst critic. I worry about my daughters as they get older too, especially as I was anorexic when younger. #BloggerClubUK

  31. I love the ER quote- that’s a good one. I am trying, as I get older to focus on what I do like about myself. It was something I learned from drag queens. They do self confidence very well for the most part. Yes, I might be a behemoth with stomach rolls and saggy boobs but I do have 34 inch legs with a (albeit small) thigh gap.

    #fartglitter

    1. It is good isn’t it, I actually said it into myself today when I caught myself feeling a bit ‘meh’. Oh to have the confidence of a drag queen!!! Thanks for hosting, nice to find a new linky 🙂 #fartglitter

  32. I was so pleased to have boys….. I know like you added at the end that boys have issues with self confidence and eating disorders just like girls, but in my experience of growing up the pressure on girls to look a certain way is immense.

    I think healthy is the thing to aim for.

    Stevie x

    1. Yes I definitely worry more about this issue with my daughter but I know what you mean. I think being women we are just all too aware of how big an effect it has on us. Thanks for commenting x

  33. This is such a big subject and it so shouldn’t be. I really wish I had advice but I think organisations such as Girlguiding would be really useful for your girls. I volunteered with them for 10 years and they have a lot of sessions and dare I say badges which are based on the self image. I love your plaque, we are all perfect! I have a son who is 10 months, I hope to teach him to be happy and healthy when he grows older too. #familyfun

    1. Ooh thank you yes I think I saw something on their website recently about body confidence. I’ve just dropped my son off at Beaver Scouts and hopefully my daughter will start guides in a year or so – I love the idea of focusing on healthy body image. Thanks for your comments x

  34. Since having two kids – my body has spun out of control! I eat when I’m sad, I eat when I’m happy. I just eat! It has not got to the point when I should really be eating more healthier. Every time, I go back to visit Thailand – I always get people coming up to me saying that I am bigger than the last time I visited Thailand. Well – I just bloody had two babies for crying out loud! Thais people so petit – I am just an elephant to them. But in truth – I have let myself go and I can only blame myself and I – no one else – can help me to get back into shape… It is a working progress… Thank you so much for linking up with is on #FabFridayPost

  35. My teen is at that age where she watches s**t tv and everyone on it is “ah-maz-ing!” or so she thinks! she’s started to worry about her figure, which is just fine, and is so into what she is eating that I sometimes wonder if she is skipping lunch at school (the meal I can’t physically see her eating) she assures me she isn’t, but I can tell from things she’s says, that she’s probably not eating enough. I have explained to her that actually taking care and having a good figure IS about eating, just the right things and IS about exercise, instead of sitting in her room on her phone! I’ve got a blog about this coming out this week actually.. but its so hard! great post, thanks! #abrandnewday

    1. Oh no see this is so upsetting, seeing where it all starts. It’s great that you’re at least discussing it though, look forward to reading more in your post. Thanks for reading and commenting x

  36. Abso-blooming-lutely! I remember after having my bubs reading about all these celebs ‘popping back into shape’ after having a baby – and I was still hauling a massive weight around up front. I would have once stressed massively before about my tummy but now I really don’t care as it did a brilliant job carrying my baby #abrandnewday

  37. I think this is such an important thing to think about, especially as parents of girls. I think the most important thing we can do, is just try to be happy, healthy role models to our children. And sometimes that involves eating crisps! #abrandnewday

  38. I love this – we are are own worst enemy and I honestly believe every women is thinking the same. I do and I loom in the mirror each day and criticise something, I’m my own worst enemy! Thanks for linking up to #justanotherlinky x

  39. I totally feel your pain, on the one hand I hate the body shaming yet I often find I’m self-shaming as I’m so hard on myself about my body, which has recently put on weight and makes me feel less confident. I don’t have any answers I’m afraid other than our brain is plastic and malleable and the more we worry, the better it gets at doing just that so it’s about practising self-acceptable x

    1. So frustrating isn’t it?! I like your thinking, trying to undo years of negativity will take time but ultimately how amazing to be free of body hangups??!! Thanks for hosting and your comments. xx

  40. I love this! I wrote a post a little while back about why we don’t and won’t ever own a scale. It was my Mother’s rule when we were children. That rule stemmed from my Mom having an eating disorder when she was a teen and her hope that by teaching us our weight was just a number and not a measure of our health or beauty that we would avoid that fate. (my little sister didn’t). Now as a Mom of a daughter, body image is one of my many fears for her! Thank you for writing such a great post!

    1. Hi Allyson, thank you so much for your comment, it seems almost impossible to avoid the external pressure on girls/women to look a certain way regardless of what we/ our mothers do to help. I have thrown away the scales before only to go out and replace them within DAYS! Let’s hope we have more success preparing our girls xx

  41. Wow an amazing article. Something timely too as this morning I decided that I would go on a diet and right about now I am munching on so much bread my mouth cant keep up.

    At the end of the day I think in this battle, its really between me and myself and how i can accept me first. I cant.. and that is what I been working on since I can remember =(

    #FabFriday

  42. One of my biggest fears is that my daughter will take her cue from me when it comes to body image. I did it with my mum and was always on a pretend diet, even before I was allowed to go on a proper one. I’ve been all over the spectrum as an adult – everything from a size 6 to a 26 and I never felt happy with myself at any point on the journey. I just hope I can teach her that there is so much more to life than worrying about your waistline. x #fabridaypost

    1. It’s sad isn’t it? I know it’s still a huge issue but I think we are more aware these days of the effects our eating habits have on our children. I think in past generations diets were just seen as a harmless way to be a bit thinner but things have gone so far these days with the likes of ‘thinspo’ etc so easily available to girls online that the ideal has changed to something completely unrealistic. Hopefully being aware of this as parents will give us a slight ‘head start’ when it comes to preparing kids the right mindset when it comes to diet/body image. Thanks for reading x

  43. I used to have amazing legs but I had NO idea….now I refuse to wear anything that reveals my bruises, varicose veins and lardy calves….maybe I’ll look back in another 20 years and say ‘i didn’t look that bad, maybe I should have been less worried’…. x

  44. I am so much more confident in my 30’s than I was in my 20’s in every way, despite my body being no where near as good ha! We are all just so tough on ourselves, and I realised a few years ago I was making myself miserable feeling jealous of others and wishing basically that I was someone else….

    I love my life I don’t want to be anyone else really. I pretty much gave myself a stern talking to and haven’t looked back… yes I still want to lose weight, but to be healthier.

    It took a long time, but I am happy being me 🙂

    Stevie xx

  45. While I’m not happy with the way I look I am happy with the numbers on the scale if that makes sense? It’s taken me years to realise that skinny doesn’t mean healthy, and at one point I got skinny by eating a big mac a day and being miserable, which was about it. Not because of a diet fad I was just generally miserable and food was secondary. Body shaming worries me, not just on the large side but the fact that my 3 year old has already been classified as “underweight” at 3. Underweight. He would eat all day long if I let him. He loves all things laden with calories but also loves to run. But seriously? Who classifies a 3 year old?!?

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